cover image Impossible Moon

Impossible Moon

Breanna J. McDaniel, illus. by Tonya Engel. S&S/Millner, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-7897-8

A Black child named Mable grapples with her Grana’s illness by undertaking an expedition through the constellations in an attempt to touch the moon—and “make impossible things possible.” Among the stars, Mable sips from a drinking gourd (the Big Dipper), encounters a lion (Leo), and catches a ride on a massive dog (Canis Major, calmed with “Sit!” and “Who’sagoodboy?”). Engel’s richly flowing, layered oil and acrylic art offers vibrant depictions of the brave child as she travels past smiling twins (Gemini) before persuading an archer with long, many-hued locs (Orion) to shoot her like an arrow at the moon, with support for her efforts provided by the Pleiades (“each sistah cradling her and sharing lullabies”). As back matter details, McDaniel’s deliberate storytelling draws thoughtfully on history and mythology while centering Black representation among the stars. Through Mable, this spin on a star story offers a positive example of the importance of reaching for the impossible. Ages 4–8. (June)